Truth In Tension - Kris Vallotton

January 16, 2017

Truth and Order

Have you ever heard a biblical concept and thought, “Well that doesn’t make sense when I put it next to this other piece of biblical truth I already know…”? For example, we are saved by grace, not as a result of works (Ephesians 2:8), BUT If we have no works our faith is dead (James 2:17). Huh?! How do we reconcile these two thoughts when they sound like they don’t make sense together? In order to understand this, we must accept the multidimensional nature of truth.

We most often view truth horizontally but God wants us to view truth vertically. Isaiah 28:10 paints a picture of vertical levels of truth when it says, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” You see, black and white thinking is horizontal thinking, as it always seems that some truth contradicts another truth. We must see truth in its proper order if we’re going to live in the fullness of what God has for us, and the good news is that He wants to give us a new operating system through which to process truth. When we have this new operating system working inside us, a new world of revelation will be downloaded to us.

Did you know that there are levels of truth? Matthew 23:23 says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” These people were valuing truth out of order. Tithing is very important but never at the expense of forgetting to be merciful. I think this happens a lot in the church, which is why it’s important that we align ourselves with God’s core values or we will miss the very things he has on His heart. As an example, many people get love and justice mixed up. They over-emphasize justice and withhold love when they are trying to get people to behave, which ends up producing fruit of control and fear instead of love. God clearly assigns levels of greatness to truth. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 it says, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

The Tension of Truth

In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus warred against the Word of God with the Word of God. In this passage, the devil tried to use Psalms 91:11-12 to get Jesus to commit suicide. He was trying to use the truth against Jesus. You see, he had the right verse, but the wrong spirit. We can learn so much from Jesus’ response in this story. Whenever you are attacked with scripture, remind yourself that all truth is held in tension. What verse creates tension for the verse in question? Just as Jesus kept his eye on the big picture and held truth in tension throughout his conversation with the devil, we must remember once again that not everything is black and white and often truths have many dimensions.
A real-life example that I’ve processed through myself is the understanding that I am gifted, and God called me to change the world! This is true, but has to be held in tension with the truth that without God, I would not be successful. It is only by his grace that my life is significant. They key to holding truth in tension is knowing that the Bible is all true and meant to pull us into deeper relationship with God. When we know Him, His heart, His point of view and the way He layers precept upon precept, it becomes easier to align yourself with Him.

How do you see the order of truth playing out in your own life? Do you find it difficult to hold truth in tension? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Topics: All TopicsInspiration